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Members, community successful in removal of CSD superintendent

A powerful alliance of Local 1000 members and community groups came together to successfully force the removal last week of Dr. Sean Virnig, the Site Superintendent at the California School for the Deaf (CSD), ending years of bullying, ineffective leadership and an unwillingness to listen or work with staff. 

The #TakebackCSD movement was a coalition of Local 1000 members; CSD faculty and staff; the Association of Families Teachers and Counselors; and the California Association of the Deaf; along with families and students at CSD. 

Under Virnig’s leadership, enrollment dropped nearly 20% and teacher turnover had increased. The coalition invited State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson to an August 19 meeting at the CSD campus, where they made their case about the failed administration from a large group of teachers, staff and parents. 

One week later, on August 26, #TakebackCSD’s efforts paid dividends when they received the news that their collective action led to Virnig’s reassignment. 

“This decision is in the best interest of our school, our students and our staff,” said Sulgi Hong, a teacher at CSD and a Local 1000 Steward, who was instrumental in leading the charge “We look forward to a great academic year and a bright future for our CSD community.” 

Now, coalition members are committed to being integral in the hiring of a new superintendent. “We are determined to offer our cooperation and support to ensure that our students, staff, families and community members have a new superintendent of world-class caliber,” Hong said.

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